IBM software tracks computers, trucks

Company revamps software to manage computing gear, shipping containers and other assets.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica
2 min read
IBM on Friday is expected to outline changes to its Tivoli systems management software to incorporate features garnered from a string of acquisitions.

In addition, the company also intends to unveil within weeks its road map for adding products from its purchase of MRO Software, a deal which closed on Thursday, said Al Zollar, the general manager of IBM's Tivoli division.

Al Zollar
Al Zollar

Overall, IBM is looking to provide unified management tools that can keep track of IT gear as well as of physical assets, such as trucks or shipping containers, with electronic sensors. MRO Software's Maximo application is designed to manage equipment such as power plants.

"Non-IT assets are getting embedded chips, embedded software stacks and IP (Internet protocol) addresses," Zollar said. "They have to be managed just like servers and desktops."

Early next year, IBM will release Tivoli Process Manager, which will be based on MRO software, an applicatoin that will monitor IT and other corporate assets, such as heavy equipment.

IBM has bought several smaller companies in the management area in the past year, and it has begun integrating their technologies with its Tivoli suite.

It has added visualization tools, gained from its purchase of MicroMuse, to the Tivoli Change and Configuration Management database. The database already incorporates software from its acquisition of another company, Collation.

Available later this month, the new configuration database can present customized management-related information to various users.

For example, it can show high-level IT executives whether a specific business service, such as an order management application, is operating, while another user interface will show administrators whether specific hardware components are failing, Zollar explained.

Also, in the fourth quarter of this year, IBM will introduce a new product called IBM Tivoli Capacity Process Manager, designed for automating the job of adding server and storage resources.